Laiken turned 3 years old yesterday. Despite having just recovered from a stomach virus, which she shared so nicely with Jack, her party was a success. I had so much trouble planning Laiken's party this year because Trey was back and forth about the possiblity of leaving to work out of town. Once that was settled, he was unsure if they would be working 7 days a week or staying at 6. Finally, I decided to just have her party on her birthday, at night, so he would be there for sure. Everything was planned. Mimi, Kristin, and Kynnedi were coming. Lisa, Jason, Blayne, and Savana were coming. We were so excited! Then late Thursday....the stomach virus reared its ugly head in our door. All plans changed again, all out of town guests were forced to cancel. She was doing better by Sunday, so we decided to not let her b-day pass with no celebration, and go on with the party. The only guests who came were our downstairs neighbors (Jennifer, Brad, Annie, and Zoe). I told them that Jack was feeling poor and had the virus. Jennifer felt it would be ok because they had already spent the first two days of Laiken being sick playing with us and in our house before we realized she had the virus. They were already exposed so why not come over for cake? It was a wonderful party! Only lasting about an hour, the kids played, opened presents, and ate cake/ice cream. Laiken, in her three years of life, has often surprised me. She surprised me the day she arrived 6 weeks early. And in the NICU, where she was so strong and was out so quickly. She surprised me by showing me how easy it was to be her mother, when I was so scared to have a new baby and was not sure I would know what to do. I am delighted and surprised everytime she does or says something new. She has learned to count on her fingers. She is so proud of herself when she holds up her fingers and says " I am two, but in a few days I will be 3". Well now she can say she is 3! Last night she surprised me too with her manners and her gratitude. She opened each present and looked at it and was happy. She took her time with each one. She waited patiently while I read cards. She moved from presents to cake with no fits or protests (just a little coaxing). For anyone who has seen my kids eat cake...you are not wondering why I did gifts, then cake! At the end of her party, she hugged all of her guests and told them bye and thank you. I was so proud of her. It was not her usual shy, quiet thank you, but a loud and sincere one. She is growing up so fast! One day we will turn around and they will all be grown up! These are the days we will want back!!!!